Storm could drop significant snowfall this weekend
Wide swath of 6 plus inches is forecast across the lakes region with the heaviest snowfall Saturday morning, March 11.
BRAINERD — This weekend may be a mix of green with plenty of white.
A heavy snowfall is forecast to hit the Brainerd lakes area from 6 a.m. through noon Saturday, March 11, in time for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Downtown Brainerd. But it isn’t likely to end there. A long duration snowfall is expected to arrive overnight Friday into Saturday morning and persist with a moderate snowfall through Sunday. The National Weather Service in Duluth provided updated snow totals for this latest snowstorm with 7-11 inches of snow forecast across central and northern Minnesota, including the seven county lakes region.
Meteorologist Kevin Huyck, from the weather service in Duluth, said the clipper system that is coming in this weekend is on the tails of a Friday snow system that is stretching out to New England. As this next storm comes in a second wave it is expected to slow down behind the system dropping snow, roughly 1-3 inches, in the lakes area late Thursday into Friday. That weather traffic could mean some large snowfall totals by Sunday.
“You could end up with some pretty big totals here in the Brainerd lakes area,” Kevin said.
Six inches of snow could fall from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday and while snow may taper off, another 1-4 inches could fall Saturday into Sunday.
The weather service expects widespread snowfall of more than 6 inches across the region with areas of 7-11 inches. The weather service listed most of Crow Wing County with an 83% chance of more than 6 inches of snow from Saturday morning though Sunday night with parts of central Cass County, northern Wadena County and northeastern Crow Wing County with a 92% chance of 6 inches or more.
After Thursday night’s snowfall, snow is expected to taper off Friday morning before the next wave moves in from the west on Saturday. The weather service noted amounts and location of the heaviest snow is likely to change but confidence in the widespread snowfall has increased.
How does this year compare for snowfall?
It seems as though there has been a lot of snow this season, but what do the numbers say?
Looking at the total snow season to date, the Brainerd lakes area can mark this winter to March 9 as the 14th snowiest season so far.
As of Wednesday, Brainerd had 56.8 inches of snow this year, putting it 17 inches over the 30-year average up to this date.
The record holder for the most snow as of March 9 is 1937 with a whopping 87.1 inches of snow.
Looking at normal data and comparing this year to a 30-year history, this year would rank No. 4. Interestingly enough, the winters ranking higher are fairly recent, 70 inches in 1997, 68.7 inches in 2022, and 62.5 inches in 2019.
Looking at annual snowfall, this winter already ranks No. 26 — and that is compared to data going back 125 years, noting there are years with missing information. Still, it's a strong record. Looking at snowfall for the entire year, based on the last 30 years, this winter would rank ninth.
If Brainerd gets 6 inches of snow with this next system, it would be tied for seventh snowiest out of the last 30 years and tied for 19th on the annual list.
An average snowfall for the last 30 years is 48.3 inches so this year is already 8.5 inches over the seasonal average with more to come.
Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchBizBuzz.